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Community Garden Program

One of the greatest needs in the North Little Rock community is access to healthy, affordable and nutritious food. The NLR Community Garden Program was established in 2009 in an effort to address food insecurity and simultaneously beautify the City of NLR. It is a tax funded program dedicated to making local food accessible and educating the public on gardening practices by increasing the amount of community gardens in our neighborhoods.

A community garden can be defined as any piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people; including non-profits, community centers, faith-based organizations, and schools. The NLR Community Garden Program supplies gardens with free soil, mulch, compost, seeds, plants, educational and work-day opportunities, highlights accomplishments on social media, and donates excess garden produce to local food banks.

The program currently works with over 20 gardens within city limits and is always looking to welcome more sites into the program. NLR residents interested in starting a garden or expanding a garden’s operation are able to apply for funds from the Community Garden Program up to $5,000 every planting season. These funds can be spent on garden construction materials, expansion projects, tools, and other expenses. Funding applications are due on February 15th and August 15th every year.

Let’s keep growing food for change and digging for the future!


Get to know the Gardens

These gardens are often established at schools, churches, and residential areas and can grow any combination of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They may consist of one large community plot, individual garden beds/rows, raised beds, etc. These gardens play a vital role in increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, providing opportunities for physical activity, and nurturing neighborhood connections in our city.

Click on the map below to learn more about our gardens and gardeners!

Keep up to date with the Community Garden Program:


JOIN OUR PROGRAM

The Community Garden Program is allotted $55,000 per year to support the establishment or improvement of community gardens and urban farms in the city and is funded with the support of volunteers, non-profits, and tax-payer dollars.

The Community Garden Program encourages new and existing gardens to join our program by applying for our seasonal funding grants! Additional consideration will be given to community gardens that plan to donate excess produce, grow produce year-round and host educational workshops. 

Applications are due by February 15th and August 15th every year.

Questions? Please contact:

Anna Sawyer - Community Garden Coordinator - Email: asawyer@nlr.ar.gov

LaKaisha Shelby - Fit2Live/Community Garden Director - Email: lshelby@nlr.ar.gov


RESOURCES FOR FUNDED GARDENS


COMMUNITY GARDEN MANAGERS’ MEETING

Community Garden Managers and interested individuals meet on the fourth (4th) Wednesday of every month at 5:00 in the NLR City Council Chambers (300 Main St, North Little Rock AR 72114). This is a meeting to share successes, challenges, resources, ask questions and connect the NLR gardening community.


Community Garden Advisory Committee

The North Little Rock Public Community Garden Advisory Committee directs the programs’ funding decisions. Membership is open to past and present Community Garden Managers and affiliates who are in good standing with the program. Contact LShelby@nlr.ar.gov and/or ASawyer@nlr.ar.gov if you are interested in serving on the committee. 

> Visit Committee Page


BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY GARDENS

INDIVIDUAL BENEFITS

  •  Increase access to healthy, affordable, nutritious, and culturally relevant food
  •  Improve food security
  •  Encourage self-reliance
  • Reduce family food budgets
  • Stimulate social interaction
  • Increase physical activity through garden maintenance activities
  • Improve dietary habits through educational activities

SOCIAL BENEFITS

  • Catalyze income opportunities and economic/neighborhood/community development
  • Create opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy and education
  •  Produce nutritious food
  •  Beautify neighborhoods
  •  Reduce crime
  •  Increase property value

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

  • Increase biodiversity of plants, animals, and insects
  • Reduce “food miles” that are required to transport nutritious food
  • Positively impact the urban micro-climate
  • Conserve resources
  • Preserve green space
  • Reduce city heat from streets and parking lots

Partners